Hip hip hooray: Design for Travel turns one
The Design for Travel team is excited to be celebrating a successful first year in business. To mark this special date, we wanted to share an overview of our year: our customers, achievements, plans for the future and so much more…
Before we tell you about our first year in business, you need to know what we were up to in the years before Design for Travel was established.
It all started in 1995. Before having a website was the norm, a young man set off on a mission. Ian was a tech lover and an avid coder which, coupled with his love to travel, formed the basis of a global travel technology company – Billian IT Solutions (the parent company of Design for Travel).
Initially, Billian’s products were nothing more than desktop applications, designed to make it easier for travel companies to manage airline contracts and customer enquiries. But as the internet became more widely used amongst both businesses and consumers, the demand for an online system became apparent. In order to meet the demand, Billian developed a range of online booking systems that would allow travel companies to manage and sell their services online.
Crucially, Billian’s journey from ‘offline’ to ‘online’ highlighted another opportunity for us to innovate. Our online booking products needed a home (aka a website, in the digital world) and we knew that, with our experience, and with our focus solely on the travel industry, we could offer a web design service like no other.
Our mission has always been clear. We want to use our experience as travel technology specialists to provide an unrivalled web design service. We want to lead the way in our field, create websites that engage and inspire, and make sure that our customers are listened to, cared for and understood. In just 365 days, we’ve already taken huge steps to achieving these goals…
Bringing Design to Travel to life was not only fun but also incredibly rewarding! It brought the team together to throw around creative ideas, from the website itself to the logo, colour scheme, imagery and all the other nitty gritty details that go into creating a new brand.
We also had to consider how Design for Travel would fit in with the Billian brand which proved to be a challenge, however we got to show off the mix at Travel Technology Europe 2019 when we exhibited under both brands for the first time. We think we pulled it off! Do you?
We initially had our doubts about exhibiting, but the show turned out to be a success. We returned to the office with sore feet and lots of new contacts and friends. We also received a few compliments on our colourful brand which gave us a massive ego boost and got us excited to show it off again at TTE 2020!
We don’t want to brag but… In between designing websites, exhibiting at our first trade show and maintaining a high level of customer care, we managed to create a range of customisable website themes which offer a solution for travel companies working against a deadline or on a budget. They are also a great source of inspiration for those looking for new ideas.
We were contacted about one of our themes, Global Corporate Travel just a day after it had been put on our website. The customer was working against a strict deadline, so we’re proud to have managed to get it up and running within just a couple of weeks.
Of course, the achievement we’re most proud of is our valued customers. Having already designed websites for customers across Europe, Asia and Africa, we’re taking over the digital world, one website at a time. Each new project has been different than the last and exciting in its own way. Here are just a few of the companies that have placed their trust in Design for Travel:
Lintas Travel, who specialise in making travel arrangements for the Malaysian government, asked us to design a website and a customisable web page for their sub agents. We were also asked to design a personalised portal which would allow users to select a sub agent from a list and visit their website.
Now Travel & Tours
Now Travel & Tours, our first Nigerian customer asked us to redesign their website after meeting us at Travel Technology Europe 2019. They offer cruise, sports, leisure and corporate travel services and wanted a quirky website to highlight their specialities.
The team enjoyed having free reign on the design of Bleisurelands, a new brand specialising in Greek business and leisure travel. As well as designing their website, we also created a logo for this customer and helped bring the brand to life.
Chillimix is the next big project the team will be working on, but we’ve been sworn to secrecy so we can’t say much more than that!
What we can say is a HUGE thank you to all the customers who have supported us and continue to support us throughout this venture. We couldn’t have done it without you!
What’s next? We asked members of the team…
Lew Wilde, web designer said, “I’m hoping for some more really big projects. You know, the ones where you spend days working on a single feature. Those all-encompassing, time-consuming details are my favourite aspect of website design.”
Rachel Goldenfield, account executive said, “It would be great for Design for Travel to be seen as its own entity, rather than a division of Billian IT Solutions. The two go hand in hand, but we want customers to know that they can have a website without a booking system and vice versa.”
Noor Tomlinson, marketing executive answered, “I would love to see the team grow. New employees bring new ideas and skills which is always a good thing.
“It would also be great to work with customers in different countries. We will definitely promote the fact that we work on a worldwide basis more and let everyone know that we do a little happy dance when we secure a customer in a country that we haven’t worked with before!”
So, there you have it. Our plan is to improve our website and offerings, branch away from our parent brand and conquer the world. But for today, we’re just going to enjoy a slice of cake…